LOCAL NEWS

Presbyterian church in Sandy vandalized, pride flag on display stolen

Jan 25, 2024, 4:24 PM | Updated: 7:29 pm

SANDY — The pastor of a Presbyterian church in Sandy said the church was first vandalized and then had their pride flag stolen within a span of two weeks.

Sandy Police said the incident occurred at the Community of Grace Presbyterian Church.

“A year and a half ago, we put up a full inclusion pride flag on the corner as an expression of how we want this church to be a place of belonging for all,” Hansen Wendlandt, the church’s minister, said.

Wendlandt said it looked like someone or a group of people kicked in their signage located at the south corner of the church and stole their pride flag. A few days after, “someone had come back and (had) done a lot more destruction to that sign,” Wendlandt said.

The sprinkler system for the church property was also damaged. Pieces of broken glass were left behind along with pieces of what appeared to be a skateboard. The estimated total cost of damage ranges between $15,000 to $20,000.

Wendlandt assumed the incidents happened in the middle of the night. Sandy Police told KSL TV the suspect or suspects could face felony charges. Investigators do not suspect that the church was specifically targeted or believe this incident to be a hate crime.

Wendlandt said the incident however feels like a violation. “To take that flag away or to take a center of who we intend to be and try to be and try to grow into, I’m sure our members feel angry about that. But so far all I’ve heard is people who want to start back up and continue to share our message.”

The church plans on re-painting the sign and flag short term.

Anyone with information is asked to call Sandy Police at 801-568-7200.

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Presbyterian church in Sandy vandalized, pride flag on display stolen